Looking Ahead - Wednesday August 22

4 min read

Looking Ahead puts the spotlight on runners of interest across Australia and New Zealand. Whether they are a particularly well-bred or high-priced runner having their first or second start, a promising galloper returning to the track or a horse which has trialled particularly well, we’ll aim to give you something to follow.

On Wednesday, we look at a Godolphin mare resuming at Warwick Farm, a former Kiwi debuting for Chris Waller on the Gold Coast, a full sister to a Group 1 winner making her first racetrack appearance and interest in New Zealand surrounding the return of a stakes winner.

Warwick Farm, Race 3, $40,000 Bm75 - 1000m - 14:35 AEST

Regally-bred Deity (Exceed and Excel) makes her return to the track and off the back of her recent trial win, she looks set for a big campaign. Out of champion mare Divine Madonna (Hurricane Sky), who Darley paid $2.7m for back in 2008, Deity has required some patience.

James Cummings has given her just three runs before her 4-year-old season for just one win in a Wyong maiden. She sat on pace on that trial at Warwick Farm, gave a good kick and held off the late challenge of talented stablemate Demerara.

Divine Madonna's progeny haven’t rivalled her for ability, but she does have a black type winner in Maternal (Street Cry {(Ire)}, while another daughter, Deipara (Lonhro) recently sold for $600,000 in foal to Exceed and Excel.

Gold Coast, Race 3, $20,000 3YO Fillies Mdn - 900m - 13:43 AEST

Former New Zealand filly Miss Fialka (Pierro) makes her debut for Chris Waller stable in a Gold Coast maiden. She had three starts for Tony Pike in her first campaign, and while on the surface she didn’t show a great deal, she finds herself in Waller's Queensland stable and for that reason alone, is worth keeping an eye on.

Miss Fialka, pictured as a yearling

This filly is out of Redoute's Choice mare Purple Muse and was brought for NZ$55,000 at the 2017 Karaka Yearling Sales. Her half-brother by Savabeel sold for NZ$210,000 at this year's Karaka sales.

Further back, this filly's grand dam, Purple Groove (Rhythm {USA}) was a Listed winner over 2000m, who produced a South Australian Oaks winner Zapurple (Zabeel {NZ}), so we might expect to see Miss Fialka's best over a longer distance.

Sandown Lakeside, $30,000 3YO Maiden 1200m - 13:35 AEST

2017 Randwick Guineas winner Inference's full sister Sequitur (So You Think {NZ}) is set to make her racetrack debut on Wednesday. She had a couple of trials in Sydney in the autumn and has been given a couple of Flemington jump-outs ahead of her debut, including an impressive effort when leading all the way on August 10.

Inference's feats on the track - he is now standing his first season at Chatswood Stud - certainly add value to this filly and her family with her younger half-brother by Pierro selling for $1.05m at the 2018 Easter Yearling Sales. It’s a pedigree page already rich with black type and with a nomination for the G1 Thousand Guineas for this filly, Team Hawkes will be looking to add to that in the near future.

Taupo, Race 4, 3YO, 1100m. 2.19 NZ time

A proposed Australian campaign for Santa Catarina (NZ) (Savabeel) will gain further momentum at Taupo on Wednesday when she returns to racing. The gifted three-year-old finished runner-up a recent 840m heat at Te Teko to the delight of trainer Stephen Marsh.

“She was under double wraps at the line. I thought her trial was excellent and she’s developed and is much stronger this time in,” he said. “I didn’t want her to do too much and she will kick off at Taupo over 1100 metres and then she’s likely to head to Sydney. She’s coming up very, very well and her main aim will be the Flight Stakes.”

Santa Catarina finished runner-up on debut last season and won her next two starts, including the Listed Waikato Equine Veterinary Centre Stakes, before she was turned out. “She didn’t get all favours first time out so there’s a good case to be made that she should be unbeaten,” Marsh said.

Bred and raced by Lib Petagna’s JML Bloodstock, Santa Catarina is the first foal of the multiple winner Discreet Evening (USA) (Discreet Cat {USA}) and the family of the G1 Flamingo Stakes winner Talinum. It has also a family that has made its mark in Australasia through the ill-fated G1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas winner Atlante.